At a Glance
With a 491 credit score, lenders can determine whether you have a history of paying credit payments on time or whether you are just starting out with credit. As a result, you can find it difficult to obtain a credit card or loan without paying high-interest rates until you have the opportunity to repair your credit.
If you have a credit score of 491 and are applying for a credit card, personal loan, auto loan, or mortgage, the process will be significantly more challenging and complicated. A 491 credit score on your credit report can signify recent financial difficulties or a lack of credit history.
Candidates with a credit score of 491 could need to pay more or make deposits on their credit cards. It will also be challenging to get authorized for an unsecured credit card. When a borrower's credit score is in the "extremely bad" category, which corresponds to unfavorable credit, many lenders will decline to work with them.
Now that we have explained what can happen when your credit score dips low, let’s dig deeper.
Is 491 Credit Score Good or Bad?
Sadly, a credit score of 491 is regarded as poor. FICO and VantageScore, two well-known credit scoring systems, state that the lowest credit score range includes 491.
What Impacts your 491 Credit Score?
Your credit score of 491 could be impacted by a variety of factors. Knowing them might therefore help you focus on improving your credit score. Your credit score is impacted by a number of factors, including:
- Public information
- Credit Utilization Ratio
- Late or missed payments
- Length of credit history
- Total debt and credit mix
- Recent credit activity on your account
If your credit report reflects bankruptcies or other similar public records, your credit score can take a massive hit. A Chapter 7 bankruptcy will remain in your credit file for up to 10 years, and a Chapter 13 will stay for seven years. Even though your credit score may increase before the bankruptcy report disappears from your record, there is a high possibility that lenders might refuse to work with you because of bankruptcy filing.
Credit Utilization Ratio:
To calculate the Credit Utilization Ratio on a Credit Card, you must divide the outstanding balance by the card’s borrowing limit and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. To calculate the overall utilization ratio, calculate the balances on all your Credit Cards and divide by the sum of borrowing limits. Keeping your utilization below 30% of your available credit is usually recommended.
Late or Missed payments:
Your credit score will significantly hit if you miss your credit card payment. So if you see that your credit score has fallen to 491, you should look into how many late or missed payments have happened from your end. Paying your bills consistently is the most critical thing to do to improve your credit score, as it accounts for 35% of your FICO score.
Length of Credit History:
Along with other things, the length of your credit history is also a detriment to your credit score. The number of years you have been a credit user can influence up to 15% of your FICO score. NTC (New to Credit) users must be patient and careful to avoid destructive credit behaviors.
Total Debt and Credit mix:
The FICO credit usually favors users with multiple credit accounts and revolving and installment credit. If you have only one kind of credit account and your credit score is 491, it might help if you broaden your credit portfolio. Remember that credit mix and total debt make up 10% of your FICO score.
Recent Credit activity:
If you are someone who keeps applying for new loans and credit cards, your credit score might take a hit. Some companies trigger a check known as a hard inquiry when you apply for loans or credit cards. What happens during the hard inquiry is that the lender obtains your credit score to determine if you can get the credit line or not. Hard inquiries might drop your credit score by a few points, but it rebounds within a few months if you keep up with your credit card bills. New credit activity can account for up to 10% of your FICO scores.
What does a Credit Score of 491 mean for your Life and Finances?
When you see that you have a 491 credit score, many financial aspects of your life will be affected. Some ways your life and finances will get affected due to a low credit score are:
- High-interest personal loans
- High interest or no approval of unsecured loans
- Difficulty getting mobile connections, water connection
- Difficulty finding apartments
Can you get a Credit Card with a 491 Credit Score?
Yes, you can get the Azpire Credit Builder Card to build your credit score from 491. Even while a credit score of 491 is considered to be poor, it does not necessarily mean that you are committing financial death. Even if you are NTC (New to Credit), you can still get a secured credit card called the Zolve Azpire Card. Applying for this secured credit card is one of the greatest strategies to repair your credit.
How to Improve your 491 Credit Score?
Your low credit score will gradually rise from 491 to a fair (580-669) to a good (670-739) rating. There is no quick way to raise your credit score from 491 to 700, but you can take the following steps to raise it from 491 to the fair or good credit score bucket instead.
- Paying your bills on time
- Avoiding high credit utilization
- Debt management plan
- Credit builder loan
- Use a secured credit card
- Establish a credit mix
Paying your bills on time:
The holy grail of improving your credit score is to pay your bills on time. If your credit score is 491 and you are looking for ways to increase your credit score, this is the way to go.
Avoid high credit utilization rate:
No matter how many accounts you have, try keeping your credit utilization to 30% to avoid lowering your credit score.
Debt management plan:
If you're in trouble with your credit card bills, a debt management plan can come in handy. You need to work with a non-profit credit-counseling agency to work out a manageable repayment schedule. If this sounds too extreme, you can consult a credit counselor to improve your 491 credit score.
Credit builder loan:
Multiple credit unions offer these small loans designed to help NTC users build their credit. These loans help you build credit if you maintain the stipulated payment behavior.
Apply for a secured credit card:
This usually comes with a small credit limit, often only a few hundred thousand dollars, and you have to put down a deposit in the total amount of that limit. As you use this card and make regular, timely payments, the lender reports those activities to the national credit bureaus. Your credit behavior is recorded in your credit files and reflected in your FICO score.
Look no further if you want to improve your 491 credit score by applying for a secured credit card.
Folks, meet the
Zolve Azpire Card
What is it?You can improve your credit using your own money and the Zolve Azpire card. This credit builder card enables you to raise your credit score as soon as you make a purchase. Everyone can get it, even if you have a low 491 credit score.
Every swipe of your Zolve Azpire card is recorded, and at the end of the month, we sum up all the transactions and report them to the credit bureaus to raise your credit score and improve your financial future.
Establish a credit mix:
The FICO scoring model favors users with multiple credit accounts, along with a mix of different types of loans, including installment loans like mortgages, car, and home equity loans.
The fact that your credit score has dropped to as low as 491 can be depressing, but it doesn't necessarily mean you couldn't improve. If you want to raise your 491 credit score, you must begin someplace. Your access to more credit alternatives, loans, waived fees and terms, and lower interest rates may increase if you raise your credit score to the fair range (580–669).